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Vol 39 No 18

Published 11th September 1998


Holding up the peace

Both the government and rebels grow weaker as the neighbours press for a ceasefire

Congo’s worried neighbours want peace badly, but may have botched the chance of it at Victoria Falls on 7 September. The first idea was that President Laurent Kabila’s government would meet the rebels, along with - and under pressure from - Zimbabwe, Angola and Namibia, all of which have sent troops to Kabila’s aid, plus Rwanda and Uganda, the rebels’ foreign supporters. But the rebel delegation, led by Arthur Z’Ahidi Ngoma of the Congolese Democratic Coalition, felt discourteously treated by the Zimbabwean hosts, and ‘consulted’ only as outsiders, not as parties to a negotiation. President Frederick Chiluba of Zambia, the supposedly neutral Chairman, said ‘all of us had agreed’. But they had not, and the war goes on.

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